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228
OF
dical regularity. According to the number of Indian
tribes, the soil is divided into certain districts, for the
deposits of eggs are found three feet deep, 120 feet
from the shore. When they have sounded with the
poles, the Indians dig up the soil with their harul«r
and break the eggs into wooden troughs filled with
watery and expose them to the rays of the sun until
the yellow, upper, oily part thickens. This oil is
then boiled separately, and if none of the eggs con-
tained embryo tortoises, it is very pure and of an
agreeable flavour. A space on the shore 120 feet
long and thirty feet broad, gi^es 100 ships' jars full
of oil (from 1000 to 1200 cubic inches) and 5000 eggs.
are required to make one jar full. But as one tor-
toise lays at the utmost from 100 to 116 eggs, and
about one-third are destroyed before they can be col-
lected, 330,000 tortoises are required to produce the
thirty-three millions of eggs which afford the above
quantity of oil.
Where the Orinocco suddenly turns northward near
San Fernando, it breaks through a portion of the
mountain ridge. Here are situated the great water-
falls of Atures and Maypuros, and here the bed of
the river is narrowed in by immense masses of rock*.
The stream surges along the eastern precipices ; art
extensive grass plain extends between the two hills,
t±te rocks ELari and Oco, which rise like mountain-
fastnesses from the ol<J river bed of the bay, which
was once filled by the Orinocco like a sea, and pre-
sented a magnificent prospect. The northern end of
the waterfalls is characteristically called the sun and
the moon in the language of the aborigines. The
rock Elari has its name from a luminous white spot, in
"which the Indians perceive a remarkable similarity to»
the moon. Humboldt was not able to climb the-
steep rock, but supposed the white spot to be an im-
mense piece of quartz in the dark granite. Opposite*
the Kari rock, on the basaltic twin rock of the island
of Quivitari, the Indians show with secret admiration
a similar disk, Camosl* which they worship as the